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Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film: A festival becomes a party

The organisers of the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film are looking back at six fantastic days with great satisfaction. The competition films were of the usual high standard and audiences made sure that cinema theatres were sold out. Most important, however, was that the atmosphere was magnificent. “The Festival was full of atmosphere and people here in the city are celebrating animated film together with us” is how Dittmar Lumpp, the Festival’s Managing Director, summed up the event.

Particularly in view of the fantastic summer temperatures, it was not to be taken for granted that attendance at the film programme shown in the cinemas was so high. “The open air events and the film programmes in the theatres produced a wonderful synergy” said Ulrich Wegenast, the Festival’s Artistic Director. “I was especially pleased to see how exceedingly well the workshops were accepted." The screenings of the competition films were for the most part sold out, the supporting programme such as the presentations by Aardman Animations, Sony Pictures Imageworks with Vice President, Don Levy, the Tom Show with Dirk Bach or Bill Plympton’s workshop were all a hit with the public. The Tricks for Kids programme also had a loyal audience of regular visitors and the school screenings were well-attended. “We have also registered an increase in accredited visitors, representatives from the industry and festival pass holders” said Dittmar Lumpp.

The two-day Animation Production Day, directed specifically at the industry is now a well-established part of the programme, too. Producers such as Thilo Graf Rothkirch, Stephen Moore (Aardmann Animations) and Michael Coldewey (Trixter Productions) used the Festival to make contacts with others within the industry. The German Animation Screenplay Award established itself the first time it was awarded with the prize for “Sing, Hase, sing!”, an excellent screenplay for an animated animal musical. The 48H 3D Jam Red Girl Session was also a great attraction. Six teams from all over Europe each managed to produce a short animated film within 48 hours – animation in front of a live audience! Two students from the Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan, Poland were the winners.

“This year we showed animated commercials and applied animation as part of the supporting programme, but I could well imagine that we might make a competition out of this genre next year,” said Ulrich Wegenast, looking to the next festival. “In 2008 we intend to extend the Animation Screenplay Award at an international level. We will also open up more in the direction of new technologies such as Web 2.0 and Youtube.”


AWARDS of the 14. Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film/May 01 2007

International Competition

• Grand Prix – State of Baden-Wuerttemberg & City of Stuttgart Grand Award for Animated Film with a cash prize of 15,000 Euros

La memoria dei cani / The Memories of Dogs
Simone Massi, 8 min, Italien, Frankreich / Italy, France 2006

With minimalistic means this film poetically deals with human suffering and dignity, together with high-level design and artistic intensity.
The jury wishes that the filmmaker will continue his artistic development and make more beautiful films.

• International Promotion Award for the best graduation film with a cash prize of 10,000 Euros

My Date From Hell
Tim Weimann, Tom Bracht, 14 min, Deutschland / Germany 2006
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg

The Promotion Award goes to My Date from Hell by Tim Weimann and Tom Bracht from Germany for being entertaining, dynamic, well executed, with convincing characters. A perfect example of mainstream animation.

• SWR Audience Award
The Audience Award with a cash prize of 6,000 Euros goes to

Migration assistée / Aided Migration
Pauline Pinson, 4.33 min, Frankreich / France 2006

Young Animation

• Award for the best student film with a cash prize of 2,500 Euros, sponsored by Landesanstalt für Kommunikation Baden-Wuerttemberg and MFG Filmförderung Baden-Wuerttemberg

Ariel Belinco, Michael Faust, 6 min, Israel 2006
Bezalel Academy auf Arts and Design, Jerusalem

We noticed the generally high standards of technical achievement of the animation schools. At the same time we wanted to draw the attention on the personal commitment of the authors. So we choose the film that succeeded to portrait a delicate political situation with emotional involvement revealing human stupidity in a warm and humorous way.

• Special Mention:

Elet Vonal / Life-Line
Tomek Ducki, 6.40 min, Ungarn / Hungary 2006

We also decided to give a special mention for the elegance and simplicity of the movement in the film ELET VONAL by Tomek Ducki of Moholy Nagy University.

Tricks for Kids

• Award for the best children’s animated film with a cash prize of 4,000 Euros, donated by NICK

Oleg Uzhinov, 13.11 min, Russland / Russia 2006

Statement of the children’s jury:
The story of „Zhiharka“ is great and funny. The film is not only very well made, but also full of surprising and exciting moments. We found the drawings interesting, because we have never seen drawings like this before. The idea of transforming a fairy tale into an animated film like this is wonderful.

• Special Mention:

A lot of films were nominated for the final selection. But only one film can win. Therefore we would like to mention the film that came second.

Ernst im Herbst
Jakob Schuh, Michael Sieber, 6.30 min, Deutschland / Germany 2006


• Award for the best animated feature film with a cash prize of 2,500 Euros, donated by Leonhardt & Kern Werbung GmbH

Azur et Asmar / Azur and Asmar
Michel Ocelot, 93 min, Frankreich / France 2006

AZUR ET ASMAR by Michel Ocelot is a unique fairy tale that is both classic and modern all at once. The film is a stunning achievement that never fails to surprise both visually and narratively – transcending its genre, bridging cultures, and stirring the soul through beautifully realized animation.

Animated Series

• Award for the best TV animated series with a cash prize of 2,500 Euros, donated by EM. Entertainment GmbH

Little Princess: I Want My Snail
Edward Foster, 11 min, Großbritannien / Great Britain 2006

Within the limits of children's television animation, The Little Princess dares to be poignant while at the same time being a subtle and satisfying animated production, the craft of which never interferes with its wonderful message.

• Special Mention:

Spongebob Squarepants: Dunces and Dragons
Vincent Waller, 22 min, USA 2005

We would like to give special mention to Spongebob Squarepants for doing what only a select few TV series - animated or live action - can do for the world. Make us all laugh hard. Long live the Sponge.

Winner of the 48H-3D-Jam Red Girl Session

Cezary Kwasny und Wojciech Hoffmann
Academy of Fine Arts Poznan, Polen / Poland
for their film “Negative”, which was produced in 48 hours at the 14. Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film

German Animation Screenplay Award for “Sing, Hase, sing!“

The first ever German Animation Screenplay Award has been presented to writer Heike Sperling and producer/writer Oliver Huzly from Berlin. The award, to the value of 5,000 Euros, has been donated by the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (Evangelical Church in Germany).
The story of Henry the rabbit, raised by hedgehogs is based on a rhyme written by James Krüss in 1958. “The authors kept the fairytale theme,” commented the jury, “but developed something completely new at a psychological level. The question of being different is dealt with using humour, pace and suspense. The core of the screenplay is the family – and family can mean any community which does not feel that being different is a threat but in fact an enrichment.
A total of 33 screenplays for feature-length animated films were submitted and the winning script was chosen by Detlef Gericke-Schönhagen, Director of the Department for Film, Television and Radio at the Goethe Institute in Munich, Udo Hahn, Head of the Department of Media and Communications for the Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland (Evangelical Church in Germany), Daniel Nocke, animator and screenwriter and Ulrich Wegenast, Artistic Director of the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film.

Business platform for the international animation film industry
Stuttgart April 30 – May 01, 2007

Off to a great start: the Animation Production Day 2007 (APD) brought together the producers of feature-length film projects with selected world sales companies, banks and equity investors in 180 intense one-to-one meetings. In a concentrated work environment the 40 participants discussed financing and exploitation strategies for their film projects and the feedback was excellent. Animation Production Day 2008 is already fixed for May 05 and May 06, 2008.

---------------------------------------------------------------------- FESTIVAL NEXT YEAR:
15th Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film
May 01 to May 06, 2008

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The Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film is cooperating with fmx - International Conference on Animation, Effects, Realtime and Content.

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